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Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR TOOLS - Hardware & Software Nikon Speedlights & Lighting topic #24093
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Subject: "Owners of both SU-800 & SB-800" Previous topic | Next topic
Abouna Registered since 30th Jul 2004Sat 30-Jun-07 10:16 PM
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"Owners of both SU-800 & SB-800"


US
          

Just wondering for you owners, which has the better interface & display. More concerned with the ease of use than the quality of the display.

Thanks,

-----
FJ
www.benchcrafted.com

  

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Owners of both SU-800 & SB-800
bclaff Silver Member
01st Jul 2007
3
Reply message RE: Owners of both SU-800 & SB-800
Ned_L Moderator
01st Jul 2007
4
     Reply message RE: Owners of both SU-800 & SB-800
Abouna
01st Jul 2007
6
          Reply message RE: Owners of both SU-800 & SB-800
Ned_L Moderator
01st Jul 2007
7
               Reply message RE: Owners of both SU-800 & SB-800
Abouna
01st Jul 2007
8
                    Reply message RE: Owners of both SU-800 & SB-800
Ned_L Moderator
01st Jul 2007
9
Reply message RE: Owners of both SU-800 & SB-800
Gerry M
06th Jul 2007
12
Reply message RE: Owners of both SU-800 & SB-800
jrp Administrator
16th Jan 2008
14
Reply message RE: Owners of both SU-800 & SB-800
Abouna
30th Jun 2007
1
Reply message RE: JRP
Cope
01st Jul 2007
2
Reply message RE: Owners of both SU-800 & SB-800
HBB Moderator
01st Jul 2007
5
     Reply message RE: Owners of both SU-800 & SB-800
jrp Administrator
01st Jul 2007
10
          Reply message RE: Owners of both SU-800 & SB-800
HBB Moderator
01st Jul 2007
11
               Reply message RE: Owners of both SU-800 & SB-800
jrp Administrator
07th Jul 2007
13

bclaff Silver Member Awarded for multiple contributions for the Resources Nikonian since 26th Oct 2004Sun 01-Jul-07 02:49 PM
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#3. "RE: Owners of both SU-800 & SB-800"
In response to Reply # 0


Vancouver (WA USA not Canada), US
          

John,

The interface of the SU-800 is far easier to use than the SB-800 or a built-in flash.
I use my SU-800 even when I could use my D200 built-in as a commander.

Regards,
Bill

Visit me at My site

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberSun 01-Jul-07 04:07 PM
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#4. "RE: Owners of both SU-800 & SB-800"
In response to Reply # 3


Philadelphia, US
          

John,

I agree with Bill, and I too use my SU-800, rather than my D200 to control my speedlights. It's more flexible and easier to use.

But, permit me to muddy up the waters here. Before I got my SU-800, I had 3 Speedlights, including an SB-800 to be used as my main flash and master. By having all three, I had a main, filler, and background unit, which made up the basis for a great portable portrait setup, and gave me tremendous flexibility. By purchasing an SB-800 you get the third unit, plus an excellent commander.

I assume that you've been using your D70s built-in speedlight as your commander, which only can have one group. It's also not nearly as reliable as the SB-800 or SU-800. It's power's nothing to write home about either. According to the flash lighting flexibility you're looking for, perhaps a third flash, one that can be used as your commander and a great flash, should be your choice.

Ned
-----------------------------
There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.
Ansel Adams (1902 - 1984)

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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Abouna Registered since 30th Jul 2004Sun 01-Jul-07 06:50 PM
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#6. "RE: Owners of both SU-800 & SB-800"
In response to Reply # 4


US
          


>But, permit me to muddy up the waters here. Before I got my
>SU-800, I had 3 Speedlights, including an SB-800 to be used
>as my main flash and master. By having all three, I had a
>main, filler, and background unit, which made up the basis
>for a great portable portrait setup, and gave me tremendous
>flexibility. By purchasing an SB-800 you get the third
>unit, plus an excellent commander. Ned
>-----------------------------

Thanks Ned, now I can't see the bottom of the pool at all

I'll just have to bite the bullet one way or another but I'm still leaning in the SU direction.

-----
FJ
www.benchcrafted.com

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberSun 01-Jul-07 07:37 PM
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#7. "RE: Owners of both SU-800 & SB-800"
In response to Reply # 6


Philadelphia, US
          

OK John, let me unmuddy the waters a bit.

An SB-800 costs about $315.
An SU-800 costs about $250.

With either one you get a Master capable of controlling 3 groups. With the SB-800 you get essentially a "fourth group" of one flash unit (SB-800 itself) too. With the SB-800 you get visible preflashes to command the remotes, but with the SU-800 invisible preflashes. You can cover the SB-800 head with a $10 SW-9IR, which will filter the preflashes into invisible IR light, which does slightly reduce the range of the preflashes.

With the extra $65 for the SB-800 you also get a flash which is more powerful, quicker recycling, and more versatile than your current 2 SB-600 speedlights.

Personally, I find the built-in flash of the Nikon DSLRs merely an emergency convenience. I also have conducted tests, which show as a commander, they have a reliability rate of less than 88%.

So, if you intend to purchase either the SB-800 or SU-800, the question boils down to, which has more value to you at this time, a master which is a little easier to program and puts out invisible preflashes, or at a difference of $65-$75, a master which is a little harder to program, which you might need to filter from time to time, to make the preflashes invisible, when you're not using it as a flash, but which would provide you with a 3rd flash, which is both more versatile and powerful than either of the ones you already have.

Good luck on your decision, and once you decide, please let us know what you're going to purchase.

(Sorry for the run-on sentence)

Ned
-----------------------------
There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.
Ansel Adams (1902 - 1984)

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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Abouna Registered since 30th Jul 2004Sun 01-Jul-07 07:50 PM
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#8. "RE: Owners of both SU-800 & SB-800"
In response to Reply # 7


US
          

>OK John, let me unmuddy the waters a bit.
>
>An SB-800 costs about $315.
>An SU-800 costs about $250.
>.......
>With the extra $65 for the SB-800 you also get a flash which
>is more powerful, quicker recycling, and more versatile than
>your current 2 SB-600 speedlights.

I've actually read that the SB-600 recycles faster. Though it's a moot point for me, I'm not shooting anything that would require rapid fire.

>Personally, I find the built-in flash of the Nikon DSLRs
>merely an emergency convenience. I also have conducted
>tests, which show as a commander, they have a reliability
>rate of less than 88%.

Can't agree with you more here. I never use the built in for anything other than Commander, which on the D70s is limited anyhow.


>So, if you intend to purchase either the SB-800 or SU-800,
>the question boils down to, which has more value to you at
>this time, a master which is a little easier to program and
>puts out invisible preflashes, or at a difference of
>$65-$75, a master which is a little harder to program, which
>you might need to filter from time to time, to make the
>preflashes invisible, when you're not using it as a flash,
>but which would provide you with a 3rd flash, which is both
>more versatile and powerful than either of the ones you
>already have.

Nice summation. My problem however stems from the fact that I rarely, if ever, shoot on-camera. With this in mind, one of the main advantages of being able to use the SB-800 as a third strobe is negated, since as an off-camera strobe it would again be relegated to the same group as the 2 other SB-600s i.e. Commanded by the crippled D70s. If only Nikon had seen fit to put a individual manual mode, i.e. controlling the strobes at the strobe and just triggering with the on-board flash.

Now if I had a D200 (don't I wish), this might be a bit easier, I would have full commander with the SB-800 either on or off camera.


>Good luck on your decision, and once you decide, please let
>us know what you're going to purchase.

Sure will.


>(Sorry for the run-on sentence)

Being Mr. Anti-grammar, I'm not in any position to notice a run-on when I see it!

-----
FJ
www.benchcrafted.com

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberSun 01-Jul-07 08:30 PM
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#9. "RE: Owners of both SU-800 & SB-800"
In response to Reply # 8


Philadelphia, US
          

John, you brought up some good points, so I thought I'd comment.

"I've actually read that the SB-600 recycles faster. Though it's a moot point for me, I'm not shooting anything that would require rapid fire."

I always use the fifth battery with the SB-800, which both helps it recycle faster and provides more flashes than with four batteries.

"My problem however stems from the fact that I rarely, if ever, shoot on-camera. With this in mind, one of the main advantages of being able to use the SB-800 as a third strobe is negated, since as an off-camera strobe it would again be relegated to the same group as the 2 other SB-600s i.e. Commanded by the crippled D70s. If only Nikon had seen fit to put a individual manual mode, i.e. controlling the strobes at the strobe and just triggering with the on-board flash."

I never use my flash on board either. I do use a flash on a bracket connected with an SC-28, hand hold as desired using the SC-28, or occasionally on a stand connected by a modified SC-28 (50' long cable). Moving the SB off the hot shoe eliminates red eye, as it puts the SB far enough away from the lens that the light is now longer parallel, which is the biggest problem of a flash on the hot shoe. Using the red eye eliminator of the flash unit, in my opinion, is worthless. It works, but you get a lot of shut eyes, by the time you take the photo.

Sometimes I'm in situations where the CLS system just doesn't work well or at all, such as in a large room (gym) or outside. I also have pocket wizards for those occasions.

Ned
-----------------------------
There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.
Ansel Adams (1902 - 1984)

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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Gerry M Registered since 24th Oct 2004Fri 06-Jul-07 11:15 AM
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#12. "RE: Owners of both SU-800 & SB-800"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

I currently run 6 SB800's and 2 SB200's with a SU800. I could use one the SB800's as the master since it is infrequent that I use all 6 SB800's in a single shot. I simply find the interface of the SU800 easier and faster to use with fewer chances for error. You don't go through layers to get to what you what to change. It's rare today that I use an SB800 as the master.
--Gerry

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter MemberWed 16-Jan-08 01:19 PM
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#14. "RE: Owners of both SU-800 & SB-800"
In response to Reply # 0


San Pedro Garza García, MX
          

I am not quite sure what is the purpose of your question.
I bought a SU-800 because I felt it was a waste of a SB-800 just to use it as a Commander for other SB-800. I now have three SB-800 under the orders of that SU-800.
The SU-800 lets you control the speedlights from its own back LCD, by groups and channels, without having to walk to each speedlight to change their individual settings.
Below a sample I just shot a few minutes ago for an article update on speedlights.
First at it was, with just window light.
Then with two speedlights off-camera, wireless.

Have a great time
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story, The Team
Join the Silver, Gold and Platinum members that help this happen; upgrade. Join your personal web site to the Nikonians WebRing
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Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)

  

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Abouna Registered since 30th Jul 2004Sat 30-Jun-07 11:29 PM
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#1. "RE: Owners of both SU-800 & SB-800"
In response to Reply # 14


US
          

>I am not quite sure what is the purpose of your question....

Well, simply put, I'm an owner of two SB-600s, I have been planning on getting an SU-800. My purpose in querying owners of both units is to help me decided once and for all to get the SU-800 over the SB-800. It's a hard decision that didn't start out so hard but has gained difficulty, now it's not simply a matter of dollars as the price of the SB-800 has come down just a bit while the SU-800 has not.

Basically I'm still looking for reasons pro and con to get the SU-800, though at this point it's almost a done deal. If I didn't personally feel the SU-800 is quite over priced, it would be easier. In other words, if, along with price (cheaper than the SB-800), size and lack of pre-flashes, the SU-800 interface was superior, it would just be another egg in the basket so to speak.

Thanks jrp.

-----
FJ
www.benchcrafted.com

  

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Cope Registered since 31st Mar 2007Sun 01-Jul-07 11:43 AM
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#2. "RE: JRP"
In response to Reply # 1


US
          

The Su-800 can reach out farther than the Sb-800, and has more flexibility for set up than the SB-800. At some point you may want the SB-800 VS the SB-600, but I would get the Su-800 if I were in your shoes.

  

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HBB Moderator Hal is an expert in several areas, including CLS Awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Resources. Charter MemberSun 01-Jul-07 04:49 PM
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#5. "RE: Owners of both SU-800 & SB-800"
In response to Reply # 14


Phoenix, US
          

JRP:

Very nice textbook example of balancing ambient illumination (sunlight outdoors) and supplemental illumination (speedlights indoors). This set should make a great teaching tool. Very nicely done!

Regards,

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

  

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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter MemberSun 01-Jul-07 09:21 PM
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#10. "RE: Owners of both SU-800 & SB-800"
In response to Reply # 5


San Pedro Garza García, MX
          

Thank you sir. If it were not for the nasty sun ray in the window at right ....

Have a great time
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story, The Team
Join the Silver, Gold and Platinum members that help this happen; upgrade. Join your personal web site to the Nikonians WebRing
Make sure you check our workshops at The Nikonians Academy and the product catalog of the Photo Pro Shop

  

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HBB Moderator Hal is an expert in several areas, including CLS Awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Resources. Charter MemberSun 01-Jul-07 10:31 PM
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#11. "RE: Owners of both SU-800 & SB-800"
In response to Reply # 10


Phoenix, US
          

JRP:

You could always rotate your house ninety degrees clockwise. Then you would have a nice, cool northern exposure. (Grin!)

Regards,

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

  

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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter MemberSat 07-Jul-07 09:32 AM
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#13. "RE: Owners of both SU-800 & SB-800"
In response to Reply # 11


San Pedro Garza García, MX
          


Have a great time
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story, The Team
Join the Silver, Gold and Platinum members that help this happen; upgrade. Join your personal web site to the Nikonians WebRing
Make sure you check our workshops at The Nikonians Academy and the product catalog of the Photo Pro Shop

  

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